The Watchtower Society says "TEST US AGAINST THE BIBLE!"
We all know that the Watchtower Society teaches that the Governing Body and Faithful & Discreet Slave Class is the "Sole Channel of Communication on Earth" between Jehovah God and mankind.
We also know that the Watchtower Society teaches that no one can correctly understand God's Inspired Scriptures unless they are being taught by Jehovah's Witnesses and/or reading Watchtower Publications along with the Bible.
However, AT THE SAME TIME, the Watchtower Society also teaches that we must TEST THEIR TEACHINGS AGAINST THE BIBLE like the Noble-Minded Beroeans did (Acts 17:11; compare 1st John 4:1)
The Watchtower Society also holds up Charles Taze Russell as a good example to imitate his faith, and they describe how he originally found the "truth" by starting his own little Bible study group and searching through the Scriptures on his own with a few other like-minded people, and he compared the Bible to the doctrines of the churches of his day.
However, today Jehovah's Witnesses are expressly FORBIDDEN to follow C.T. Russell's example and start their own little Bible study groups to compare the Society's teachings to the Bible.
The Watchtower, August 1st, 2001 Issue, Page 14, Paragraph 8:
"First, since “oneness” is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and “the faithful and discreet slave.” By regularly taking in the spiritual food provided “at the proper time”—through Christian publications, meetings, assemblies, and conventions—we can be sure that we maintain “oneness” with fellow Christians in faith and knowledge.—Matthew 24:45."
Yet, at the SAME TIME, the Watchtower Society ENCOURAGES its members to follow the example of the Beroeans!
Below are the Watchtower Quotes which show that they ENCOURAGE THEIR MEMBERS to follow Acts 17:11 and 1st John 4:1 (even while they are also publishing other articles forbidding Witnesses from doing this!)
How do Jehovah's Witnesses harmonize these two OPPOSITE BELIEFS being taught to them at the SAME TIME?
The Watchtower, April 1st, 1988, Pages 30-31:
“Test the Inspired Expressions”
What about the authority in the Christian congregation? Since those in responsible positions are appointed by the operation of the holy spirit and they base their counsel and admonition on the Word of God, we can be sure that obeying duly appointed authority in the Christian congregation is appropriate. (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17) But it does not mean that we obey such authority without giving due consideration to what is being said. Why?
The apostle John offered this counsel: “Do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.” (1 John 4:1) This does not mean that we should be suspicious of everything others tell us. Rather, we bear in mind Paul’s words at Galatians 1:8: “Even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed.”
Is the information before us different from what we have been taught through “the faithful and discreet slave”? Is the person spreading that message speaking to honor the name of Jehovah, or is he trying to exalt himself? Is the information in harmony with the overall teachings of the Bible? These are questions that will help us in ‘testing’ anything that may sound questionable. We are admonished to “make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.”—Matthew 24:45; 1 Thessalonians 5:21.
An interesting case in point is that of Judge Gideon. To be sure that Jehovah was going to be with him, Gideon proposed a test: “Here I am keeping a fleece of wool exposed on the threshing floor,” he said to Jehovah. “If dew comes to be on the fleece alone but on all the earth there is dryness, then I must know that you will save Israel by means of me.” When Jehovah caused it to happen just as requested, Gideon wanted more assurance: “Let, please, dryness occur to the fleece alone, and upon all the earth let there come to be dew.”—Judges 6:37-39.
Was Gideon being overly cautious or suspicious? Apparently not, because Jehovah accepted his request both times and did just as he asked. Gideon wanted to make certain of the rightness of his position. Not having God’s written Word as we do, that was a most effective way for Gideon to “make sure.” However, once he received the assurance, he gave strict obedience to the orders from Jehovah even though pitting 300 men against an enemy force of 135,000 would seem suicidal from a human point of view. (Judges 7:7; 8:10) Do we show the same attitude by searching in the Word of God for what Jehovah’s will really is and then sticking to it?
The Wisest Choice
Jehovah does not expect us to show blind credulity. He does not want from us the kind of obedience that a trainer gets from a beast with a bridle or a whip. That is why he told David: “Do not make yourselves like a horse or mule without understanding, whose spiritedness is to be curbed even by bridle or halter.” (Psalm 32:9) Rather, Jehovah has endowed us with thinking ability and discernment so that, based on understanding, we can choose to obey him.
In Japanese, the word kiku (to hear) includes the meaning not only of listening and obeying but also of judging whether a thing is good or bad. When someone speaks to us, it is good to listen in this sense so that when obeying, we do so not by mere credulity but by choice. When our heavenly Father, Jehovah God, speaks, whether through his Word, the Bible, or through his earthly organization, it is all the more important for us to listen and obey, thus proving that we are obedient worshipers who do not ignore the loving reminder: “Did you hear me?”
The Watchtower, July 01, 2001, Pages 19-20:
How did we build a strong faith in the first place? “Faith follows the thing heard,” writes the apostle Paul. (Romans 10:17) He means that we initially built our faith and confidence in Jehovah, his promises, and his organization by feeding on God’s Word. Of course, we did not just blindly believe all that we heard. We did what people living in the city of Beroea did. We ‘carefully examined the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.’ (Acts 17:11) We ‘proved to ourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God’ and made sure that what we had heard was true. (Romans 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:21) Since then, we have likely reinforced our faith as we have come to see ever more clearly that God’s Word and promises never fail.—Joshua 23:14; Isaiah 55:10, 11.
Avoid Spiritual Starvation
Now the challenge is to maintain our faith and to avoid any uncertainty of belief that can weaken our confidence in Jehovah and his organization. To do this we must continue to examine the Scriptures daily. The apostle Paul warns that “in later periods of time some [who may initially seem to have a strong faith] will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1) These misleading utterances and teachings create doubts in the minds of some and alienate them from God. What is our protection? To continue being “nourished with the words of the faith and of the fine teaching which [we] have followed closely.”—1 Timothy 4:6.
Jehovah's Witnesses -- Who Are They? Brochure, Pages 3-4:
It is of vital importance to them that their beliefs be based on the Bible and not on mere human speculations or religious creeds. They feel as did the apostle Paul when he expressed himself under inspiration: “Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.” (Romans 3:4, New World Translation) When it comes to teachings offered as Biblical truth, the Witnesses strongly endorse the course followed by the Beroeans when they heard the apostle Paul preach: “They received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that all religious teachings should be subjected to this test of agreement with the inspired Scriptures, whether the teaching is offered by them or by someone else. They invite you—urge you—to do this in your discussions with them.
From this it is apparent that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the Bible as the Word of God. They consider its 66 books to be inspired and historically accurate. What is commonly called the New Testament they refer to as the Christian Greek Scriptures, and the Old Testament they call the Hebrew Scriptures. They rely on both of these, the Greek and the Hebrew Scriptures, and take them literally except where the expressions or settings obviously indicate that they are figurative or symbolic. They understand that many of the prophecies of the Bible have been fulfilled, others are in the course of fulfillment, and still others await fulfillment.
We are sure that you have other questions about Jehovah’s Witnesses and their beliefs. Perhaps some issues are controversial in nature. We would like to answer your questions. Space is limited in this brochure, so we invite you to ask the Witnesses locally. You can do so either at their Kingdom Hall meetings or when they visit you in your home. Or you may send your questions to Watch Tower, using the appropriate address listed below.
Insight Book (1988), Volume 2, Page 694:
Testing Prophecy and Its Interpretation. In view of the activity of false prophets, John warned against believing every “inspired expression,” which is basically what prophecies are. Instead, he admonished Christians to “test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.” (1Jo 4:1) John cites one doctrine as a means for determining divine origin of the inspired expression, namely, Christ’s having come in the flesh. Obviously, however, he was not saying that this was the sole criterion but evidently was citing an example of something currently, perhaps predominantly, in dispute then. (1Jo 4:2, 3) A vital factor is the prophecy’s harmony with God’s revealed word and will (De 13:1-5; 18:20-22), and this harmony could not be partial but must be complete for the prophecy or an interpretation of prophecy to be correct.
The Watchtower, October 15th, 1998, Page 6:
Paul foresaw a drift away from the Scriptures. He warned Timothy: “There will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, . . . and they will turn their ears away from the truth.” He urged Timothy: “You, though, keep your senses in all things.” (2 Timothy 4:3-5) But how? One way is to be “noble-minded.” A Greek lexicon defines this Bible word as “a willingness to learn and evaluate something fairly.” Luke used this expression to describe Paul’s listeners in first-century Beroea. Paul’s teachings were new to them, and they did not want to be misled. Commending them, Luke wrote: “The [Beroeans] were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” Being noble-minded did not make the Beroeans skeptical, disinclined to believe in anything. Rather, the result of their honest inquiry was that “many of them became believers.”—Acts 17:11, 12.
Awake!, October 8th, 1991, Pages 12-13:
Such meditating on Bible teachings and becoming immersed in them involves more than a reading of the Scriptures alone. Reading the Bible does not in itself guarantee that a person can properly use the information gained, any more than reading a book about the human brain qualifies him to be a brain surgeon. Hence, listen to Paul’s further advice to Timothy: “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.”—2 Timothy 2:15.
Opens Vistas of Understanding
Learning to handle God’s Word skillfully takes study. When a person studies the Bible carefully, considering what it says, getting the sense of it, reading passages in context, understanding its history, then unexpected vistas of insight may open up to him. He now begins personally to benefit from God’s Word.
Let us take an example showing that in just reading a portion of Scripture, we may not perceive the meaning of what is said unless we read the context. At Acts 17:11 we read concerning the people of the Greek city of Beroea, located not far from Thessalonica: “Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.”
At first glance we might conclude that the Christians in Beroea were more studious than those in Thessalonica. However, note in verse 10 of Acts chapter 17 that Paul and Silas on arriving in Beroea went into “the synagogue of the Jews” to preach God’s Word. And verse 12 says that “many of them [the Jews] became believers.” That verse helps us to reach a different conclusion. The sacred account is telling us that it was not the Christians that were being compared with one another in these two cities, but, rather, it was the Jews in those places.
In addition, did you notice what made the Beroeans more noble-minded in character? They eagerly examined the Scriptures. Professor Archibald Thomas Robertson, commenting on those words in Word Pictures in the New Testament, wrote: “Paul expounded the Scriptures daily as in Thessalonica, but the Beroeans, instead of resenting his new interpretation, examined (anakrino means to sift up and down, make careful and exact research as in legal processes . . . ) the Scriptures for themselves.” Their examination was not superficial. Those Beroean Jews probed carefully for confirmation that what Paul and Silas were teaching from the Scriptures about Jesus as the long-promised Messiah was true.
Therefore, following the example of the ancient Beroeans, it is important that we not only read God’s Word but also study it—“carefully examining the Scriptures”—so as to get the meaning of what is said. In this way we can deepen our appreciation for the Bible, and we too become, like Timothy, persons able to ‘save both ourselves and those who listen to us.’ Why? Because, in addition to reading the Scriptures, we have studied them so as to act obediently on what we have learned.—Proverbs 3:1-6.
The Watchtower, July 15th, 1986, Pages 19-20:
Be on Guard!
19 John next shows how we must be on guard. (Read 1 John 4:1.) We must not believe every spirit, or “inspired expression,” but we should “test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.” Why? “Because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.” At least some of these deceptive teachers were then traveling about, associating with various congregations, and seeking to “draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 John 7) So the faithful needed to be on guard.
20 Some first-century Christians had “discernment of inspired utterances,” a miraculous gift of God’s active force evidently enabling them to determine whether inspired expressions originated with Jehovah. (1 Corinthians 12:4, 10) But John’s warning seems applicable to Christians in general and is helpful today when apostates try to subvert the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although the spirit’s gift of ‘discerning inspired utterances’ has passed away, John’s words provide the means of determining whether teachers are moved by God’s spirit or by demonic influences.
21 Note one means of testing. (Read 1 John 4:2, 3.) “Every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God.” We acknowledge that Jesus once lived as a human and is God’s Son, and our faith moves us to teach others such truths. (Matthew 3:16, 17; 17:5; 20:28; 28:19, 20) “But every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God.” Rather, “this is the antichrist’s inspired expression” against Christ and against Scriptural teachings about him. Evidently, John and other apostles had warned that “the antichrist’s inspired expression” was coming. (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4; 2 Peter 2:1) Since false teachers then threatened true Christians, John could say, “It is already in the world.”
22 Another way to test “inspired expressions” is to note who listens to them. (Read 1 John 4:4-6.) As Jehovah’s servants, we have “conquered,” or overcome, the false teachers, triumphing over their attempts to draw us away from God’s truth. This spiritual victory has been possible because God, who is “in union with” loyal Christians, “is greater than he [the Devil] that is in union with the world,” or unrighteous human society. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Because apostates “originate with the world” and have its wicked spirit, “they speak what proceeds from the world and the world listens to them.” Since we have Jehovah’s spirit, we can detect the unspiritual nature of their “inspired expressions” and therefore we reject them.
23 But we know that “we originate with God” because “he that gains the knowledge of God listens to us.” Sheeplike ones realize that we teach the truth based on God’s Word. (Compare John 10:4, 5, 16, 26, 27.) Of course, “he that does not originate with God does not listen to us.” The false prophets, or teachers, did not listen to John or to others who ‘originated with God’ and imparted spiritually sound instruction. So “this is how we take note of the inspired expression of truth and the inspired expression of error.” We who comprise the family of Jehovah’s worshipers speak the “pure language” of Scriptural truth provided through God’s organization. (Zephaniah 3:9) And from what we say, it is evident to sheeplike ones that we are led by God’s holy spirit.
The Watchtower, October 01, 2001, Page 6:
Paul says that “from infancy” Timothy was taught “the holy writings” by his mother and grandmother. Does this suggest that some kind of brainwashing was involved? No! Timothy was not manipulated or deceived in any way. He was “persuaded to believe” what he heard and read.—2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14, 15.
Sarah Jayne became persuaded in the same way. Like the first-century Beroeans, she “received the word [from her parents and other teachers] with the greatest eagerness of mind.” As a little child, she no doubt put instinctive trust in what her parents told her. Later, as she grew up, she did not just blindly or passively accept everything she was taught. She ‘carefully examined the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.’—Acts 17:11.
The Watchtower, August 01, 2001, Pages 4-6:
Why Do You Believe What You Believe?
WHY, though, would anyone want to change his religion or belief? “I have my own beliefs, and I am happy with them,” is the commonly expressed view. Many feel that even mistaken beliefs cause little harm to anyone. Someone who believes that the earth is flat, for example, is not likely to hurt himself or anyone else. “We should just agree to differ,” some say. Is that always wise? Would a doctor simply agree to differ if one of his colleagues continued to believe he could go straight from handling dead bodies in a morgue to examining sick patients in a hospital ward?
When it comes to religion, mistaken beliefs have historically caused great harm. [...]
Why is there so much confusion and conflict? The Bible’s answer is that Satan the Devil is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:3) The apostle Paul warned that many religious people would, sadly, be “doomed to perish” because they would be deceived by Satan, who would “produce miracles and wonders calculated to deceive.” Such ones, said Paul, would “shut their minds to the love of truth which could have saved them” and would thus be ‘deluded into believing what is a lie.’ (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, The New Testament, by William Barclay) How can you minimize the possibility of believing a lie? Why, in fact, do you believe the way you do? [...]
The Scriptures encourage respect for what parents believe. (Proverbs 1:8; Ephesians 6:1) But did your Creator mean for you to believe things simply because your parents believe them? Unthinking adherence to what previous generations believed and did can, in fact, be dangerous.—Psalm 78:8; Amos 2:4.
A Samaritan woman who met Jesus Christ had been brought up to believe in her Samaritan religion. (John 4:20) Jesus respected her freedom to choose what she wanted to believe, but he also pointed out to her: “You worship what you do not know.” Many of her religious beliefs were, in fact, mistaken, and he told her that she would have to make changes in her beliefs if she was going to worship God acceptably—“with spirit and truth.” Rather than cling to what were no doubt cherished beliefs, she and others like her would, in time, have to become “obedient to the faith” revealed through Jesus Christ.—John 4:21-24, 39-41; Acts 6:7. [...]
Many teachers and authorities in specialized fields of knowledge deserve great respect. Yet, history is littered with examples of renowned teachers who were absolutely wrong. [...] A wise person, therefore, does not blindly believe that something is true simply because some authoritative teacher says it is.—Psalm 146:3.
The same caution is needed when it comes to religious education. The apostle Paul was well-educated by his religious teachers and was extremely “zealous for the traditions of [his] fathers.” His zeal for the traditional beliefs of his ancestors, however, actually created problems for him. It led to his “persecuting the congregation of God and devastating it.” (Galatians 1:13, 14; John 16:2, 3) Worse still, for a long time, Paul kept “kicking against the goads,” resisting the influences that should have led him to believe in Jesus Christ. It required a dramatic intervention by Jesus himself to move Paul to adjust his beliefs.—Acts 9:1-6; 26:14.
[...] there are powerful forces that can and frequently do manipulate the media. What is often presented is biased information that can insidiously affect your thinking.
Building on the ideas and philosophies of men is like building on sand. (Matthew 7:26; 1 Corinthians 1:19, 20) On what, then, can you confidently base your beliefs? Since God has given you intellectual capacity to investigate the world around you and to ask questions concerning spiritual matters, does it not make sense that he would also provide the means to get accurate answers to your questions? (1 John 5:20) Yes, of course he would! How, though, can you establish what is true, genuine, or real in matters of worship? We have no hesitation in saying that God’s Word, the Bible, provides the only basis for doing this.—John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
“But wait,” someone will say, “is it not the very ones who have the Bible who have caused the most conflict and confusion in world affairs?” Well, it is true that religious leaders who claim to follow the Bible have produced many confusing and conflicting ideas. This is because they have not, in fact, based their beliefs on the Bible. The apostle Peter describes them as “false prophets” and “false teachers” who would create “destructive sects.” As a consequence of their activities, says Peter, “the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively.” (2 Peter 2:1, 2) Still, writes Peter, “we have the prophetic word made more sure; and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place.”—2 Peter 1:19; Psalm 119:105.
The Bible encourages us to check our beliefs against what it teaches. (1 John 4:1) Millions of readers of this magazine can testify that doing so has added purpose and stability to their lives. So be like the noble-minded Beroeans. ‘Carefully examine the Scriptures daily’ before you decide what to believe. (Acts 17:11) Jehovah’s Witnesses will be happy to help you to do this. Of course, it is your decision as to what you want to believe. However, it is the course of wisdom to make sure that your beliefs are shaped, not by human wisdom and desires, but, rather, by God’s revealed Word of truth.—1 Thessalonians 2:13; 5:21.
Awake! November 8th, 1972, Page 8:
People who study with Jehovah’s witnesses find that this is not a matter of “instant conversion.” Study is required. They must learn Scriptural teachings, principles and prophecies. They develop a really sound basis for their faith—a deep conviction, based on knowledge, rather than enthusiasm for a passing fad.
“What really interested you about Jehovah’s witnesses?” a former participant in the “Jesus movement” was asked.
“Doctrinal things,” she said. “It made sense.”
She explained: “I stomped into the Kingdom Hall and said: ‘Answer my questions!’ The answers were based so much on the Bible that you couldn’t fight it. I was looking for loopholes, but there just weren’t any.”
The Watchtower, April 1st, 1964, Pages 195-196:
What about your religion? When was the last time you put it to the test? Have you tested it in the light of God’s Word, the Bible, to see if it meets God’s standards?
Is that necessary? Yes, because not all religion is good. Said the Christian apostle Paul: “Even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond what we declared to you as good news, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8) Also, Jesus Christ prophesied: “Many false prophets will arise and mislead many.” (Matt. 24:11) So today we find hundreds of religions in the world teaching conflicting doctrines and observing different practices. Because of these many false religions, the inspired Word of God urges: “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”—1 John 4:1.
How can you put your religion to the test? By using the Bible as your measuring rod. That is the rule beside which you can put the doctrines and practices of your religion to see if they measure up to God’s standards. Extremely helpful, too, is the discussing of Bible doctrine and religious practice with those who have made a serious study of the Bible—Jehovah’s witnesses. See how their understanding of the Bible squares with the teachings of your religion. Then determine for yourself where the truth lies after hearing both sides of the matter. Do not reject such discussion, for the Bible counsels: “When anyone is replying to a matter before he hears it, that is foolishness on his part and a humiliation.”—Prov. 18:13.
Do not be lulled into a false sense of security and take it for granted that what you hear from a pulpit is automatically the truth because it is uttered in the name of religion. For example, almost all religion teaches that man has an immortal soul and that the soul’s destiny is heaven or a fiery hell for eternity after death. Yet, according to the Catholic Douay Version of the Bible, Acts 3:23 says: “And it shall be, that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.” How can the human soul be immortal if it can be destroyed? Obviously, it cannot be immortal.
This is not just an isolated scripture. Throughout the Bible there are hundreds of similar uses of the word “soul.” But not once does the Bible show that the soul is immortal! Instead, God’s Word shows that man was created mortal. He rebelled against God and was sentenced to death; yes, death, not immortal life in heaven or hellfire. God said: “For dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Gen. 3:19) Man was not promised automatic immortality for his sin, but death.
That is why faith in God is so necessary, for exercising such faith is the only way we can ever be released from the grip of death. How? Jesus promised: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone that beholds the Son and exercises faith in him should have everlasting life, and I will resurrect him at the last day.” (John 6:40) Note that Jesus spoke of a resurrection, and said that it would be at “the last day,” not at a person’s death.
Think about this, too. If you had an immortal soul that at death went to heaven, hellfire, or purgatory, why would you ever need a resurrection? The simple truth is that a resurrection is necessary for the dead in order to bring them back to life, as they are not in an immortal state, but are in the graves awaiting the resurrection.
No, your soul is not immortal. In fact, you do not have a soul, but you are a soul, as Genesis 2:7 clearly explains: “Man came to be a living soul.” The word “soul” in the Bible is synonymous with the creature himself. (Lev. 11:46) So man’s hope is not based on his immortal soul, but is as Jesus said: “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”—John 5:28, 29.
The foregoing exposes just one sample of religious error. The list of doctrines and practices not corroborated by the Bible is a long one. Such find their origin in paganism, rooted in the teachings found in ancient Babylon thousands of years ago! As John Henry Newman, whom Pope Leo XIII made a cardinal, said of some of these practices: “The use of temples . . . incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons . . . images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin.”—Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, pages 355, 371, 373, edition of 1881.
What should you do, then, if your religion does not pass the test of God’s Word? You have a heavy responsibility. States the inspired warning: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4) This means you must abandon false religion and accept true religion if you are to escape God’s adverse judgments.
The testing you need to do with your religion is far more important than the tests your teachers gave you in school. Failure there might have meant being left back a grade. However, failure to test your religion may mean being left out of God’s purposes altogether. So “keep testing whether you are in the faith, keep proving what you yourselves are.”—2 Cor. 13:5.
It may make you feel uncomfortable to think that your religion may not be acceptable to God, but it will work for your everlasting benefit to find out now. If you pursue what is true and reject what is false, God will look on you with favor. You, too, can then have the bright prospect before you of living forever in God’s righteous new system of things after this world’s end, for “the righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”—Ps. 37:29.